It’s a basic principle that customer experience initiatives and business strategies don’t always go as planned. Failures can come from a number of factors, ranging from outside disruption to poor internal choices. What sets resilient companies apart is how they prepare for the inevitable hiccups. Staying agile and preparing for the future can help withstand the ups and downs of customer experience. This week brought two stories that can serve as cautionary tales of how not to prepare for challenges and one story highlighting the importance of adaptability.
Match.com Sued For Tricking Customer With Fake Ads
It’s probably the worst thing someone on a dating site wants to hear: the match they just found is actually fake. This week, the FTC sued Match.com for allegedly tricking hundreds of thousands of users with fake love interest ads. In order to entice customers to buy a subscription, the company sent fake alerts of possible connections with other users and made promises it couldn’t deliver. It’s believed Match gained as many as 500,000 subscriptions over two years through its trickery and then made it difficult for customers to dispute the charges or cancel their subscriptions.
The cornerstone of a good reputation is trust and transparency. Customers don’t want to do business with a company they don’t think they can trust, especially with delicate issues like love and relationships. The claims against Match.com haven’t been totally proven, but the damage could already have been done. The legal action alone destroys its credibility. Honesty and transparency drive a high-quality customer experience and should be guiding principles for all businesses.
Burger King Sends Customers To McDonald’s
It’s one of the fiercest fast food battles: Big Mac versus Whopper. But for one day, Burger King bowed out the competition to send its customers to McDonalds on “A Day Without Whopper”. Burger King announced it would stop selling The Whopper (its best-selling item) in Argentina in an effort to send customers to McDonald’s to buy the Big Mac. Currently, McDonald’s is raising money for cancer research by donating $2 for every Big Mac sold.
Burger King’s bold move shows that the company is above just making money and wants to focus on something bigger than itself. By risking losing money and customers, it showed where its priorities lie. Being agile also helped Burger King make the most out of the situation. The campaign didn’t do much to actually send customers to McDonald’s, and some people criticized the move as pandering, but Burger King was successful in getting people talking about cancer research and the McDonald’s promotion. Customers want to support business that think beyond themselves and have a purpose.
Travel Company Collapse Shows Travel Industry Uncertainty
Even well-established companies can’t escape the disruption that comes with new technology and changing trends. British tour operator Thomas Cook, which has been in business nearly 180 years, recently filed for insolvency and is on its way to total collapse. The company cites the growth of online travel planning tools and rising travel and fuel costs as reasons for its closure. Thomas Cook employs more than 22,000 employees, many of whom feel stranded after the sudden collapse.
The end of Thomas Cook could have ripple effects across the travel and tourism industry. The story shows that even the oldest and most established companies are still at risk of being disrupted by new ideas and technology. In order to stay current, companies in all industries need to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening with their customers. Instead of avoiding change, companies need to embrace change to find new solutions that will last in the future.
Following good business practices and staying agile can help companies adjust with changing technology and trends. These companies show the importance of looking towards the future and focusing on customers.